It’s no surprise that changing your diet can change your body. And yet, the scientific community continues to pour money into studies to observe what we already know.
For instance, a new literature review from the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board (NPF Board) has concluded that dietary changes, used in conjunction with standard medical therapies, can help alleviate psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
That’s nothing to write home about, because you can say the same exact thing about the role diet plays in regard to any inflammatory disease, really. But I digress…
Let’s look at what dietary recommendations the NPF Board put together, based on their research review.
Calories affect the skin
They looked at 55 studies on diet, encompassing a total of 77,557 participants — including 4,534 with psoriasis.
Of the participants with psoriasis, researchers observed weight and daily calories consumed. Overweight and obese patients were defined as having a body mass index greater than 25.
The review suggests a “hypocaloric diet” — with an average of 800 to 1,400 calories per day — can significantly improve the severity of psoriasis, quality of life, and weight loss in overweight and obese participants, compared to a regular diet.
Well.. no kidding!
We’ve known about the benefits of lower calorie diets for years. Science has already shown they help you live longer. And if you’re overweight, reducing your calories will reduce your inflammation. And, in turn, I guarantee you’ll feel better… No matter what ails you.
So this latest study is just another reminder of how you can benefit from scaling back on your calorie intake — and, even more importantly, improving your overall nutrition.
So we know that reducing calories and improving your diet can help thwart psoriasis. But there are other tools you can also use to reduce a psoriatic flare-up. Below are my top four skin-saving supplements:
1) Pycnogenol. This is the first recommendation I always make for psoriasis sufferers. This helps to steel your circulatory system against the cardiovascular effects of psoriasis. But it can also help ease psoriasis directly—and, if you do opt for standard treatments, it can significantly boost your results.
A recent trial showed that psoriasis sufferers who took 150 mg of Pycnogenol benefited from a 32 percent improvement in symptoms over standard treatment alone. Researchers also saw a significant dip in oxidative stress and gains in skin hydration. Not to mention the fact that participants felt the need to reduce the number of drugs they were relying on for relief.
More importantly, pine bark extract is risk-free. And as this research demonstrates, it’s perfectly safe to take in conjunction with other medicines and supplements.
2) AHCC. This specialized mushroom extract is a powerful immune modulator, which makes it a perfect choice for addressing autoimmune issues like psoriasis.
And unlike immune-suppressing steroids, it can actually keep you healthy through cold and flu season too.
For patients with psoriasis, I generally recommend 3,000 mg of AHCC per day in divided doses (1,000 mg in the morning, 1,000 mg around lunch, and 1,000 mg in the evening).
3) High-quality probiotics. Immune dysfunction drives psoriasis. And without a healthy gut — the seat of your immune system — you’ll never gain control of the disease.
That’s why I recommend taking one capsule of Dr. Ohhira’s — twice per day, every day. This is the only probiotic I use and suggest to my patients, as it contains 12 synergistic strains of probiotics and is backed by 25 years of research.
4) Vitamin C infusions. I recommend this for the most serious cases of psoriasis. And I’ve seen incredible results.
This treatment virtually eliminates any outward signs of the disease in my patients — all through the intravenous administration of this one simple nutrient.
This isn’t a practice that all doctors are familiar with. But vitamin infusions have become a lot more popular in recent years, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding an alternative practitioner who can give you one.
The American College for Advancement in Medicine is a great resource. Just enter your address into the search engine on their website for a complete list of experienced practitioners near you.
Of course, with a diet and supplement routine that supports your immune system and lowers inflammation, you’ll not only reduce your psoriasis, but help prevent a host of chronic diseases as well. Which makes this a smart regimen to keep up year-round!
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how your diet can reduce inflammation — and enjoy over 100 mouth-watering recipes to boot — I urge you to pick up my latest book, The A-List Diet.
Belcaro G, et al. Panminerva Med. 2014 Mar;56(1):41-8